Shop end-of-summer sales

You know as well as we do that kids wear short sleeve polo shirts all year long, so hit the big summer sales and snap up discounted duds that can be worn well into fall.

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Fly toddlers for free

Most airlines will let your child fly free on your lap until age two. Many parents opt to start buying their child a seat between 12-18 months. If your baby is a squirmer you may want to consider this option.

From: babysafetravel.com Opens in new window

Daycare costs

Daycare costs run about $1,200 a month, depending on where you live. So sometimes it makes sense for one parent not to work, because when you compare that number versus the after-tax salary of one parent, two kids in daycare equal about $30,000 in annual salary.

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Buy energy efficient appliances

Look for the Energy Star on appliances and consider the annual energy cost before buying. More efficient appliances cost more, but you make up the extra cost and then some over the life of the product.

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Replacing bulbs to save energy

Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFLs) bulbs. These bulbs use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer. They do take some getting used to, and they won’t work in every light fixture. But use them where it makes sense and save energy and money.

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What to budget

After figuring out how much you have to budget, you need to spend every dollar on paper and give it a purpose before it even makes it into your checking account.

Your budget should go in the following order: Food, utilities, housing, transportation costs, clothing and health costs.

From: theDigeratiLife.com Opens in new window

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Reduce your interest rates

Request a reduction in the interest rate on your credit cards. As with home equity loans, credit card companies sometimes are willing to reduce the interest rate. It can’t hurt to ask.

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Send away for and follow up on rebates

Send away for and follow up on rebates.

After you buy a product with a rebate, send in the form that day. Then mark your calendar to remind yourself to follow up with the rebate company if the check hasn’t show up.

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Off-season clearance

Shop for off-season, clearance items. When it is 97 degrees outside it is hard to think about shopping for long-sleeve shirts and coats.

However, it’s a great time to pick up clearance deals on these winter items as stores will practically give them away to make room for fall arrivals.

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Making your yard safe for trick-or-treaters

To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.

From: American Academy of Pediatrics Opens in new window

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Save money on electricity

Lighting is responsible for about 11 percent of a home’s energy bills, and those continue to march up across most of the country, at a time when home prices are falling and job growth is soft.

It’s true that a compact fluorescent bulb uses about 75 percent less electricity than an incandescent, but the most energy-saving bulb of all is one that’s turned off.

From thedailygreen.com.